Plot/Idea: Graff’s concept here will immediately be appealing to relevant audiences. He structures his narrative smoothly around the main concept and is transparent about his product from the beginning.
Prose: Graff’s prose is informational and accessible, although there are some isolated sections of more stilted writing. He clarifies complex topics with a down-to-earth style that will be relatable for readers.
Originality: Real Insights does an effective job of consolidating relevant advice into one straightforward guide, but the information presented sticks to the basics for the most part.
Character Development/Execution: Graff delivers solid, concrete guidance that is directly related to his main theme. He never strays from his goals, and readers will find his counsel uncomplicated and to the point.
Date Submitted: December 20, 2021
Readers will appreciate Graff’s honesty, as he warns about the unstable nature of the industry and other outside factors, like mortgage rates, monetary policy, and the labor market, that often affect a new agent’s success. He opens the guide with an overview of the general prerequisites to become a licensed real estate agent and follows up with explanations of the top challenges inexperienced agents face, as well as the shared traits of those who have succeeded in the industry. Graff stays up to date in his instruction, preparing readers on the legally required broker-agent relationship, alongside helpful commerce tools—such as the importance of digital marketing for generating credible leads and mastering Zillow or other home-buying apps. Some of his most useful guidance relates to working with different types of buyers and sellers, including his in-depth exploration of how to find the “perfect home” for buyers
Graff encourages readers to learn from the mistakes others have made, combined with his extensive knowledge base, to smoothly launch their real estate careers: “By learning from others who have stood in your shoes, you can develop valuable insight about client selection.” His information is presented in an easy-to-read and reassuring manner, and readers looking to enter the real estate field will appreciate his transparency and solid, practical advice when describing their unique challenges.
Takeaway: Readers interested in real estate careers will appreciate the thorough, honest advice in this comprehensive guide.
Great for fans of: Gary Keller, Dave Jenks, and Jay Papasan’s The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Shelley Zavitz’s Your First 365 Days in Real Estate.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A-
A debut manual explores the fundamentals of being a real estate agent.
In this business book, Graff addresses fellow real estate agents, particularly those who are new to the profession. In thematically organized chapters, the volume offers wide-ranging advice on everything from joining the right brokerage to pricing a listing. The guide dissects the variety of agent-broker relationships that exists, lists the basics of preparing for the licensing exam, describes the traits and tactics of successful agents, and steers readers through strategies for building a client base. The author explains how to host an effective open house, how to manage paperwork and procedures, and how to establish a professional online presence. The book’s insights and tips range from the general (what buyers and sellers look for in assessing potential agents) to the hyperspecific (scripts for reaching out to prospective and past clients by phone). Graff discusses broad industry factors like iBuyers, interest rates, and cyclical trends, pointing out how agents can triumph even in challenging times by understanding these aspects clearly and reacting appropriately. The manual shows why agents’ up-to-date and detailed knowledge of their unique markets is the key to providing clients high-quality service that will allow their businesses to be both profitable and sustainable.
Graff is cleareyed about the industry, noting several times that average real estate agent earnings are modest and that the majority of those who acquire a license leave the field within five years. He encourages readers to be among the minority who make it a viable career by setting appropriate expectations—particularly financial ones, as new agents will have to support themselves until they start earning commissions—and continually updating their knowledge of their clients, regions, and the industry as a whole. The book repeatedly reminds readers that agents are independent contractors responsible for planning and managing their own businesses, and it supplies concrete counsel about how to do so. Some portions of the guide will be primarily of interest to more sales-oriented readers—for instance, Graff’s endorsements of direct mail outreach and follow-up calls to former clients are unlikely to click with individuals who throw out junk mail unread and decline calls from unknown numbers—making the book most appropriate to the niche audience it targets. All readers will find the manual well written and easy to follow, useful for both a quick reference and as a broad outline of what it takes to flourish in the business. Readers who are considering a career in real estate will find the volume a valuable overview that helps them understand what it is like to work in the industry, while those who are already knowledgeable about the fundamentals will find it a worthy blueprint for developing a strong foundation in the business and figuring out how to hone the most crucial skills that are needed for long-term success.
A thorough, informative guide to the real estate industry, with clear explanations and solid advice.
Each year, I purchase and read every real-estate-related book that gets published to curate a list for this article. I just counted, and I currently have 93 real estate books and have given away or lent out many more.
There were a lot of new releases in 2021 (some better than others) — a result of authors’ newfound time off due to pandemic. Kudos to each and everyone one of you for crossing this major accomplishment off your list. Writing a book is no easy feat. Having published three books myself, I know how challenging it can be to turn the idea into reality.
It wouldn’t be fair to my readers to include everything, so I took care to narrow down what I feel are the best 12 books in real estate category from 2021 — the perfect amount for a monthly book club or a small personal collection.
1. Start With A Win by Adam Contos
Adam shares insights from his years of experience as CEO of RE/MAX LLC and past life as a SWAT team leader.
Start With a Win is filled with actual stories and lessons learned. You’ll learn about the importance of mindset, lifelong learning, problem-solving and how to transform negative situations into opportunities.
2. The High-Performing Real Estate Team by Brian Icenhower
This book is great for aspiring team leaders and members alike. When read as a group, it will help you come together to create obtainable goals, with measurable daily, weekly and monthly activities to hold each other accountable.
The High Performing Real Estate Team includes formulas, team structures, role descriptions, key metrics and recommendations to guide a team through growth using proven systems.
3. Human-Centered Communication by Ethan Beute and Stephen Pacinelli
It is time to focus on the human and think deeper about the customer’s journey and experience. Too often, the industry is focused on the success rate and not failure. The solution has been to increase volume.
However, Beute and Pacinelli describe a different approach where attention is given to each step of the journey. Incremental changes at each stage can result in a huge change; they turn the sales funnel on its side, creating what they call the “bow-tie funnel.”
4. SOLD: Every Real Estate Agent’s Guide to Building a Profitable Business by David Greene
A great resource for new agents, Greene provides a guide to getting started and shares insights to become a successful agent.
We’ve all heard the statistic that 87 percent of real estate agents fail in their first few years in the industry. This book breaks down the reasons why and focuses on the fundamentals of sales and running a business that agents aren’t taught when they get their licenses.
5. How to Start a Successful Airbnb Business by Walter Grant and Richard Anderson
Are you considering investing in a short-term rental property or expanding your existing portfolio? This book will teach you the ins and outs of running a successful Airbnb property, including best practices, setting up a business entity, market research, operations and financial considerations.
The authors share their winning formulas for a profitable Airbnb business as well as insights you may not have even thought of.
6. Facebook Advertising for Real Estate Agents by Alex Andrei
Andrei walks you through creating effective Facebook ads with consistent and predictable results. Why try to figure it out on your own when you can simply implement the same systems and ad copy that have been proven effective by agents in other markets?
Filled with examples and actionable information, this is a great resource for any agent considering investing in Facebook advertising.
7. The Ultimate Real Estate Machine by Jay Abraham and Jason Williford
The Ultimate Real Estate Machine provides the roadmap to exponential growth through reflection, identifying common problems, determining lifetime value of clients and understanding key drivers and principles.
The authors share real-world experiences and mistakes to avoid that can save you time and money. It’s a lifetime of lessons compressed into 244 easy-to-read pages.
8. Making Agents Wealthy: The #1 Results Oriented System for Women in Real Estate by Karen Coffey
A successful real estate sales coach, Coffey shares her results-oriented system in this book. The book walks through concepts like mindset, skills, productive day-to-day activities and sales funnel.
It includes tools that will help create an actionable business plan without a lot of unnecessary fluff.
9. Real Insights: The No-Nonsense Guide to Success as a Real Estate Agent by John Graff
This is another great resource for new agents to avoid failure and understand what it takes to become successful as a real estate salesperson.
The book is written for today and reflects real-world challenges and opportunities in the marketplace right now. Read this if you want to hit the ground running in 2022.
10. Profitability & Performance Pitstops for Real Estate Rock Stars and Team Leaders by Ron Howard
Howard has created a textbook for running a successful real estate business at a very high level. Building off of Verl Workman’s systems, this book includes tools, checklists, illustrations, quotes from Workman, strategies and roadmaps to each stage with real world numbers.
If you’re willing to put in the work, this book will guide you to your desired outcome.
11. Big Money Energy by Ryan Serhant
If you’ve got a big dream, this book is for you. Bravo TV star Serhant shares tips for building confidence, taking control of your life and harnessing the power of positive energy.
If you’re a fan of the show or follow him on social media, you know how hard this guy work. The book is motivational and inspiring, and I highly recommend the audible version as Ryan narrates it himself.
12. Book About Real Estate: Accelerate Your Real Estate Education and Growth by Matt Jones
Here, Jones summarizes and shares his takeaways from over 20 real estate investment books. each 20- to 30-page chapter breaks down a best-selling book that is 10 to 20 times that in length.
If you’re considering pursuing investment real estate, this could be a quick way to get a high-level overview of number of different popular perspectives. I’d encourage further reading of the original content from authors that you find valuable.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list, be sure to comment with your favorite books, what you’re planning on reading in 2022 and any big takeaways from the books I’ve recommended.
If you’re an aspiring author, I encourage you to go for it. Writing is a great way to cultivate and share your ideas in a meaningful way.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.